Update : 2022년 01월 28일


- Busan appoints new...
- Handheld mask allo...
- Is the US-China Tr...
- Asian Project Mark...
- Takemasu, Making C...
- Issues with Policy...
- Social Security fo...
- Patrick Harlan (TV...
- Sony’s Revival
- Will India Manage ...

일본어로 수학 가르치는 일원 상록 학습관



hold on Korea Society


칼럼Zone

국제 금융 浦沙短筆
풍경, 2021년 12월
히로미의 사설보기
고령화사회 대책 대강(代綱)
速 종합 격투기 통신
UFC 챔피언 생피에르, 최고...
게일 킴 핫라인
Overview of and ...
Here's What Happened
재외동포교육문화센터, 서울대 ...
재일교포 그리고 일본
재일교포 이야기
Bold English
Go by the book
SOCCER INVESTOR
공격수 아데바요르, 레알 완전...
Asia Pacific Yard
"Night Schools" ...
일본인에게 영어를
일본 산의 매력
어느 바텐더의 날들
十夜「ある冬の夜の出੖...
한지붕 두나라
일본을 떠날 때까지
평범녀의 빌린 인생
무라카미 류
민주주의 상징 김대중
70년 대선, 박정희와의 한판...
각양각색 동북아 소식
일본항공, 아메리칸 에어라인과...
Movie Craze
(Old) Sex and th...
The 힐링여행 SOUM숨
Black sauced noo...
자전거 일본 여행기
무소의 뿔처럼 혼자서 가라!

세계가 보는 일본




flag counters

산토리, 위드코로나 기업 전용...
[칼럼] 2021년 4월의 열...
세이코, 마침대 2세대 시각장...
두번째 모유뱅크 개설, 도너 ...
조리사 로봇, 한번에 면 3개...
태국 방콕에 사상 첫 일본 고...
러시아 내 최초 일본 물품 전...
[칼럼] 호리천리(毫釐千里)
지자체, 외국인 안전위한 재난...
헬로키티 신칸센, 하카타-신오...


International NJSave up to 70% on your next stay with Hotelclub.com
Christmas in Japan: Can they have their Christmas Cake and eat it Too? [ 2006.07.24 ]

One of the great examples of how Japan finds itself in a cultural conundrum can be observed every year around this time. As the name of the festival suggests, Christmas is Christ’s Mass. It is the day to celebrate through religious observation the birth of the Christian lord, saviour, and Son of God, Jesus. Obviously through the great Christian diaspora Christmas is celebrated almost everywhere across the globe and East Asia is no exception. Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea all have healthy Christian communities who come together and acknowledge the birth of Christ on the 25th of December each year. Japan too has a fair number of Christians, over three million people, but of course the remaining citizens who follow the traditional Buddhist and Shinto faiths heavily shade that number. This Japanese Christian minority has every right to celebrate Christmas as they see fit but what about the rest of Japan, what’s their excuse? For it seems that the whole of Japan acknowledges the event that is Christmas without acknowledging the reasons behind the day itself. Is this fair to Christianity? Are the Japanese majority kidding themselves, and since when did consumerism dictate when a society should buy up big on largely disposable gifts, trinkets, and toys?

Checking the history books one more time reveals indeed that a Christian country, the United States of America, subdued the once uppity troublemaker that was militarist Japan. But unlike the subjugation of nations in centuries past, Japan may have embraced a new political ideology but did not find itself enforced to follow a new form of religious faith. Times were once when a hegemonic conqueror would throw religious submission in with their political domination. In Japan’s case at least it was spared the ignominy of having its personal faith torn up, ridiculed, and replaced purposefully by the new culture’s choice of religious enlightenment, in this case Christianity. Given this fact it should be doubly thankful as a culturally overrun nation that it can still practice and celebrate its own faiths freely, and conversely dismiss any concerns it may have with the hegemony’s own practices. So why does most if not all of Japan still casually observe that one day in December? Are they pausing to reflect upon the birth of Christ and all that event’s ensuing historical importance? Are they giving thanks to the Christian God for enlightening their life and showing them the way to live peacefully and contentedly? Or rather have they simply built up over the years an observance of Christian (read American) society that reveals that accompanying the religious aspect of the festival is a related side whereby the family unit is celebrated, gifts are given and received between kin and friends, and a sumptuous feast is laid out on the dining table? The niceties of Christmas only exist because the event itself exists. Americans, Europeans, and other Christian nations would not swap presents, sing carols, roast turkeys, or bake fruitcakes at this time were it not for the celebration of Christ himself. Interestingly enough the people of Japan seem to have seen these type of festivities, the decorating, carol music, and most of all the gift giving as something they should adopt themselves even though it has no meaning what so ever to their daily lives. It seems like any old excuse for a designated gift giving opportunity will sit comfortably with the Japanese. It is amazing what societies will do when there’s money involved, in this case the Yen, and it seems that the power of the modern retail outlet is stronger than the power of the people.

To be fair to the Japanese, most modernised cultures appear to be mentally lazy. When bombarded day after day with advertisements revealing the latest and greatest products, fashions, and trends it is much easier to let it all sink in like a sponge rather than attempt to block it out, make a real choice, and avoid succumbing to the relentless messages that insist all good citizens go shopping whenever there is the slightest cause for reason. In this case that reason is Christmas gifts. The exact same thing occurs in traditional Christian nations not least of all the USA. Most citizens throughout 1st world Christendom have lost touch with the age-old adage ‘its not the gift it’s the thought that counts’. The gift is irrelevant. It is secondary, merely a token of the love of one person to another. Since love is subjective humans must try and rationalise or quantify their love for others, hence the billion dollar industry that is ‘Christmas Shopping’. Of course gift giving is as old as humanity itself, but under what false pretence does one human give something of worth to another, and is Japan really so guilty of falsifying Christmas? After all, the West is full of people who are culturally Christian but never attend church and rarely if ever pray to their God. Christmas may appear to be meaningless to them also however there is indeed an underlying ethos that no matter the level of one’s belief, if your ancestors were Christian then you for all intents and purposes realise the significance of Christmas day.

Japan’s ‘sociological policy’ of picking and choosing which elements of Western culture it should like to adopt shows up a lack of self-understanding. If your national forefathers never pertained to the notion of Christmas for example, then how on earth can you now choose to do so? For their part Christian churches are probably indifferent to Christmas in Japan. As such it does not even concern the religion itself and at the very least it cannot be a bad advertisement for the promotion of the faith in that country should any citizen dare delve beyond the crass superficiality of the day. But unlike adopting baseball or hamburgers Christmas is a religious affair. It is a supremely significant annual moment on the Christian calendar so is it really right to abuse such a sentiment? To put it into perspective for Japanese readers their ‘celebration’ of Christmas is the equivalent of celebrating Shogatsu (New Year’s Day) by wearing kimono’s, eating special foods like osechi ryouri, performing traditional dances and games, but not going to a shrine or temple and praying to gods, their ancestors, and for their own health and good fortune. It really smacks of cultural hypocrisy. You cannot have your Christmas cake and eat it to. Unfortunately Japan thinks otherwise. It wants to take the fun festival aspect of Christmas, which actually belongs to another culture’s critical religious event, and discard the significance of its very being. This really does reflect poorly on Japan as a nation with an identity crisis. What is it, and what does it want to be? You can’t be Shinto at the shrine and Christian at the shopping mall. The largely Christian West is so opulent that it really wants for nothing and has become so nonchalant towards its own faith that it most certainly is unfazed by Japan’s crude handling of the Christmas spirit. Regardless, that shouldn’t stop the mass introspection of the Japanese as they try to sort out what they really want out of life, the universe, and everything. Do they want to live their own way or somebody else’s?

by Bernard Laidlaw


< Copyrights (C) 뉴스재팬 / www.newsjapan.co.kr 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >
Facebook Share / 페이스북 공유
To E-mail / 기사 메일송신 | To Print Out / 기사 출력


  • Unexpectedly Surprisingly The Most Popular News >>   의외로 가장 많이 읽혀진 뉴스
“Ask a Pediatrician” baby workshop
木育(mokuiku) Nature it is
Tokyo Sky Tree opens
To deal with adversity, Japanese companies...
All Nuke Reactors Shut Down
"Night Schools" in the Affected Area Start...
Save pets in Fukushima
PiFanでは毎日、星が輝く
特別展-SFアニメーションの伝説:宇宙&#...
도시바 반도체 데이터, SK하이닉스로 불법 유출?
Dance course becomes compulsory curriculum...
Enjoy Exciting PiFan with Ha Seon Park, th...
전설의 프로레슬러, 스팅(Sting) 단독 인터뷰
WWE 차세대 기대주, 바비 레슐리 단독 인터뷰
최경량 월드챔프, 레이 미스테리오 단독 인터뷰
프로레슬링 디바, 크리스탈 단독 인터뷰
NO.1 아나운서 후나키, 타지리 일본행 만족
일본 대학생, '아이팟으로 출첵!'
후속탐사기 개발착수, 생명의 기원 규명 다가서
미 코니스, 10GB 초소형 하드디스크 개발
토미오카 공장의 세계문화유산 등재, 내수 활성화로
自転車の道路交通法
글쓴이
비밀번호 * 삭제시 필요합니다.(4~6자이내)
제목
내용
타인의 명예를 훼손하거나 개인정보를 유출하는 등 법률에 위반되는 글은 삼가하여 주시기 바랍니다. 게시물에 대한 민형사상의 법적인 책임은 게시자에게 있으며 운영자에 의해 삭제되거나 관련 법률에 따라 처벌 받을 수 있습니다.
글쓰기전 최종체크
주간 베스트 뉴스











exclusive image

뉴스재팬 소개 / About Us  |   광고 제휴 / Advertisements  |   만드는 사람들 / Staffs  |   By Other Presses                                                                              시작페이지로  |   즐겨찾기로

 
NPO 法人 |   Incorporated Non Profit Org. Answer Asia / 비영리기구 앤서아시아 (아시아의 평화와 우호를 생각하는 모임)
Main Spot |   アンサ一アジア ヘッドオフィス is located at Takajukacho Hirakata Osaka Japan
K Spot |   Alternative School is at #126 F1 Sangroksu Apt Mall Ilwonbondong Gangnamgu Seoul Korea
T Spot |   PR Place is at Soi Vuthiphan Rachaprarop Rd. Rajathevee Bangkok Thailand
Contact |   E-mail : newsjapanet@gmail.com | Need a phone number? Email first | Very active from the year of 2005
          Copyright ⓒ 2004 ~ 2020 NewsJapan.net. All rights reserved. Contact newsjapanet@gmail.com for more information. admin